Porn Expo Not Welcome At Convention Center, Dallas City Council Declares | KERA News

Porn Expo Not Welcome At Convention Center, Dallas City Council Declares

Feb 10, 2016

A traveling porn expo is not welcome at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The Dallas City Council on Wednesday approved a resolution that bans the expo from returning to the city-owned center in downtown.

The vote was close – and the city could now be facing a lawsuit.

Nearly 20 people spoke out against the Exxxotica Expo. Vincent Parker, a preacher at Golden Gate Church, says the porn industry is linked to domestic violence and sex trafficking.

“It’s hard for me to be silent when there’s so much pain,” he told the council. “Some have said to ignore. I cannot ignore some of the sources of much human suffering and pain. Some are saying we are overexposing an issue. I don’t know how you can overexpose a $13 billion industry.”

Three Expos is the company that produces Exxxotica. Its director, J. Handy, said last year’s event in Dallas went off without incident:

“Convention center staff, Dallas Police, Dallas Vice, and the Dallas Fire Department, all worked very closely with us to ensure the event met everyone’s high standards, including our own,” Handy told the council.

Exxxotica calls itself “the largest event dedicated to love and sex,” filled with seminars, exhibits, and meet and greets with adult entertainment stars.

Last year, several organizations had asked Mayor Mike Rawlings to keep the expo out of the convention center. But the mayor said he couldn’t do anything about it because a contract was in place.

What’s different this time: No contract. So when Exxxotica owners wanted to come back to Dallas, City Council members were notified and Rawlings brought the resolution forward to keep the event out. 

Rawlings is also the face of a city-wide effort to end domestic violence. He said allowing the expo to happen would send the wrong message.

“You can’t have freedom without boundaries,” he said. “And we know that’s true in the Constitution as well. There are lines that you can cross and there are lines that are defined.”

Rawlings said he wasn’t concerned about a potential lawsuit from Exxxotica, but other council members like Mark Clayton were.

“Let’s not get sued on a philosophical stand,” Clayton said. “Let’s apply the resources and the energies of all these amazing people in the council to things that can actually move the needle.”

The council approved the resolution in a close 8 to 7 vote. Soon after, Exxxotica tweeted out a message. It said “Dallas officials acknowledged our First Amendment rights. And then voted against them.”

Organizers say there will be an Exxxotica in Dallas this year.